2012 marks a banner year for Wendell Castle, Americaʼs foremost sculptural-furniture artist. Now in his 80th year, Castle is celebrated for his more than half-century of iconic work and his indefatigable investigations in furniture design. The new work, so ambitious in form and idea, marks a bold and powerful new chapter in a career that continues to evolve.
The first of two consecutive fall exhibitions at Castle’s Chelsea galleries, Barry Friedman Ltd. and Friedman Benda Gallery, Volumes and Voids presents a series of new unique and limited edition furniture, each with a generosity, freedom of expression and confidence in execution not seen before. Multiple dimensions are explored as Castle expands on the possibilities of voids and volumes. Castle augments, re-configures, and gives girth to many familiar shapes – mirror-image chairs, a settee, desk and tables – and the end result is of a new magnitude - fluidly merged, amorphous elements form surprisingly functional furniture.
Opening January 10th, Friedman Benda Gallery will present A New Environment, a major work by Castle – an installation of stack-laminated pieces spanning two-stories, set into an iron base. Incorporating seating pieces, a table, a lamp, and a spiral staircase leading to a tree house, or nest, the piece invites dreamers to imagine. A culmination of Castleʼs own history of ideas and the resolution of a formidable technical challenge, this environment offers the public a bewitching play of abstraction, function, and fantasy.
Wendell Castle is the subject of two museum exhibitions this fall:
Wendell Castle: Wandering Forms—Works from 1959–79, The Aldrich
Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (October 19, 2012 – February 24, 2013)
Wendell Castle: Forms within Forms – The 21st Century, The Kentucky
Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, Kentucky (Nov 29, 2012 – Feb 4, 2013)
Additionally, The Artist Book Foundation will publish Wendell Castle: Catalogue Raisonné 1958 -2011 covering more than 1700 works in spring 2013.
Born in Kansas in 1932, Wendell Castle received a B.F.A. from the University of
Kansas in Industrial Design in 1958 and an M.F.A. in sculpture, graduating in 1961. He
moved to Rochester, New York to teach at the School of American Craftsmen and
established a permanent studio in the area, which is where he still works today.
Wendell Castle's work can be found in the permanent collections of more than 40 museums and cultural institutions around the world, including: the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY); Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); Art Institute of Chicago, (IL); Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.); Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (Québec, Canada); Museum of Art and Design (New York, NY); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, (MA); Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum (Trondheim, Norway); Philadelphia Museum of Art (PA); and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Castle has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including four National Endowment for the Arts grants, three honorary degrees, a Visionaries of the American Craft Movement Award from the American Craft Museum (1994), the American Craft Council Gold Medal (1997), Master of the Medium Award from The James Renwick Alliance of National Museum of American Art, (1999), and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2007).
For visuals and more information, please contact: Carole Hochman at Barry Friedman Ltd . 212-239-8600.